The Everglades

It was a magical kind of day, one where you are not sure if it is all really happening or not. We made the 31 mile drive through the park stopping at the Visitor Centers and checking out all the different spots to hike. We had a picnic on the beach, marveling at all the tiny islands that scattered the horizon. Neither of us had realized just how many keys there were in Florida Bay. They sprinkled the view with little patches of green as we stared into the green and blue waters. The breeze blew gently and we soaked up every moment of this weather. Our seasons are always mixed up and backwards, well usually we get like three of every season each year as we move from north to south and east and west and then back again. But this… this weather here was exactly what our souls needed. A gentle blowing warmness that seeps all the way into your soul. Making you forget about the rough day you had before and giving you peace for today.

After enjoying our view, we found a nice four mile hike through a tropical jungle that lead out to the bay and back. The road was straight and flat… but was lined with tropical trees, cactus, air plants, and even succulents amongst the mangroves. On one side there was a dark and murky stream that made you believe there was an alligator or crocodile laying quietly waiting to attack! Yes, this is the only place in the world where there are alligators and crocodiles! We watched the waters constantly with anticipation… something had to be in there. It was getting closer and closer to sunset and we had almost made it to the end. We debated if we should turn around so we wouldn’t have to walk back in the dark, but decided to push on to the end. I am so glad we did. The trail ended on a board walk that protected us from the wetlands below. Looking outwards was the most picturesque view of the Everglades. Big white birds flying over big green tropical trees, clouds hanging perfectly in the sky as the sun made its last declaration before nightfall. It was breathtaking. The water lapping on the shore and posts of the boardwalk.

We waited a while, enjoying the goodness of this day and the moment before making a fast walk back to the motor home. The pace was much faster as we hoped not to be out there with all the nocturnal animals that live there. As we reached the end of the trail that met with the main road, something magical happened.

FIREFLIES!!!

One quick flash, then another. Bright yellow, orange and blue-green flashes of lights filled the once dark and scary trees around us. What had seemed like a scary place now became a magical world of wonder. We laughed and giggled like little kids, chasing and marveling at these little fairy flies! I haven’t seen them since I was really young (I don’t even have a memory of it) and Jordan had seen them when he was a kid in Arkansas… so maybe this is a regular boring thing for others but we were in awe.

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